10.08.15

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Links 8/10/2015: Manjaro Linux Releases, Linksys WRT1900ACS, FOSS at NHS

Posted in News Roundup at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Developer creates an open source glucose monitoring and tracking app he can trust

    According to Diabetes.org, in 2012 over 29.1 million Americans (that’s 9.3% of the population) had diabetes. Chances are, you know someone who has diabetes and you can help them by supporting an open source project that they can trust. If you are a developer, contribute to improve the code; you can help with documentation, or language so it can be translated.

    That’s the only way any open source project succeeds – through collaboration and contribution; through people.

  • Open Source for Log Analytics – Let’s get serious

    “Making machine data accessible, usable, and valuable to everyone” was the main theme at the Splunk .conf2015 last month in Las Vegas. The thousands attending this event are a clear proof of the growing importance and interest in collecting, analyzing and gaining insights from machine data. This interest started years ago mostly with IT related logs but will spread to cover all types of machine generated data. The growing IoT space will make today’s pile of machine data dwarf compared to what else is coming our way in the form of logs and other data generated by machines and sensors.

  • Fears Grow For Safety of Imprisoned Syrian Open Source Developer, Bassel Khartabil

    Bassel sent his letters from Adra prison, a civilian jail in the northeast outskirts of Damascus. Even representatives of the Assad government admit that conditions in Adra are overcrowded and inhumane. The prison was designed for 2,500 and now houses 9-11,000 prisoners. Single rooms hold fifty to a hundred cellmates. Food rations are minimal and prisoners must often pay bribes for sleeping materials. Nearby, according to reports, anti-regime forces attempted to seize the compound.

  • SYRIA: Disclose Whereabouts of Detained Freedom of Expression Advocate Bassel Khartabil
  • Syria: Disclose Whereabouts of Detained Freedom of Expression Advocate

    EFF has joined with organizations around the world in calling for Syria to reveal the whereabouts of detained technologist Bassel Khartabil. Khartabil’s arbitrary detention and treatment by the Syrian authorities have been cause for concern since his initial arrest three and a half years ago. Fears have grown for his safety after he was taken from civil prison to an unknown destination on Saturday. He is one of the five current cases that EFF tracks in our Offline campaign to protect unjustly imprisoned technologists and bloggers.

  • Google AMP: “Instant Articles”-style mobile news plans unveiled – an open source standard for publishers’ content to be immediately in search
  • Google (GOOG) Releases Faster Mobile Web Browsing In New Open-Source Initiative With Twitter And 38 News Organizations

    We’re increasingly living in a mobile world, and Google wants to make it a better experience. The search giant on Wednesday announced an initiative called “Accelerated Mobile Pages” (AMP) that makes viewing news articles on a smartphone even faster, the company said at a New York City event.

  • VoiceNation Releases Revolutionary Open Source Live Answering Software. Georgia CALLS is an Early Adopter

    OpenAnswer is built on familiar open source technology like Asterisk, FreePBX, Apache, Linux, PF Sense, SIP and more.

  • Open Source Needs Enterprise Developers

    Open source projects have risen in prominence over the past few years and are becoming important assets to enterprises. A recent report indicates that some 78 percent of enterprises use open source, and two-thirds build software for their customers that is based on open source software.

  • Making B2B Open To Open Source

    The eCommerce software space is a crowded one, with vendors offering any number of ways to track product data. B2C may grab the spotlight with innovation and omnichannel initiatives, and B2B has some catching up to do. But as small businesses recognize the need to adapt quickly to satisfy both their customers and suppliers, flexible software can make all the difference, according to Yoav Kutner.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Proposed Principles for Content Blocking

        Content is not inherently good or bad – with some notable exceptions, such as malware. So these principles aren’t about what content is OK to block and what isn’t. They speak to how and why content can be blocked, and how the user can be maintained at the center through that process.

        At Mozilla, our mission is to ensure a Web that is open and trusted and that puts our users in control. For content blocking, here is what we think that means.

      • Thunderbird 38.3.0 Lands in All Ubuntu OSes

        Details about a number of Thunderbird vulnerabilities in Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems have been revealed by Canonical in a short security notice.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Industry Outlook: Open-Source Databases and IoT

      This week, Industry Outlook talks with Pierre Fricke about open-source databases and their role in the Internet of Things (IoT). Pierre has a long history in open-source software. He spent 10 years as director of product marketing for JBoss Middleware. He had joined JBoss Inc. just over a year before its acquisition by Red Hat in 2006 and stayed on until he joined EDB. Pierre first became involved in open-source software in 1998 during his 17 years at IBM. He played a critical role in establishing IBM’s Linux and open-source strategy, being one of seven team leaders whose contributions are still used today. He also spent five years as an industry analyst with an emphasis on Java and Microsoft application development and integration software.

      [...]

      PF: No. “Open source” does not equate to “less secure.” Enterprise open-source solutions such as EDB Postgres boast the same level of security as traditional solutions, including enhanced auditing, row-level security, SQL-injection-attack guard and other capabilities. In addition, better-managed open-source solutions also have fewer vulnerabilities than commercial products owing to the strict reviews and testing process that these types of systems must undergo. Furthermore, the inherent nature of open source—in which the code kernel is available to a large community of developers—means more individuals are looking for potential bugs and problems (an open process that is often prohibited in propriety systems).

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.0 Released With New ARM Board Support, Lua Kernel Scripting

      NetBSD 7.0 was quietly released at the end of September.

      NetBSD 7.0 is a big release for this BSD operating system and it features Lua kernel scripting support, GCC 4.8.4 is the default compiler, DRM/KMS graphics support, multi-core support for ARM, Raspberry Pi 2 with SMP support, NPF improvements, and a variety of other enhancements.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • EU digital policy moves into public comment phase

      The normal procedural step that the Commission takes after the introduction of such a strategy is to seek specific input and feedback—via a public consultation process—for the general ideas and proposals that they are presenting. A public consultation, as the phrase implies, is an invitation to answer a long list of wide ranging questions on these issues. Although procedural, the information gleaned from the consultation will help shape any formal legislation or other actions and regulations that the Commission deems necessary to achieve the goals of the DSM.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Malware Peddling Vigilantes behind Linux.Wifatch Speak Up

      The group also add that Linux.Wifatch was never intended to be secretive and added that to be “truly ethical, it needs to have a free license.” However, the developers did not go out of their way to make the Wifatch’s presence known in the wider community, to avoid detection by other malware authors.

      The group haven’t revealed their identity and contend that they are “nobody important,” while adding that although they can be trusted not to do “evil things” with users’ devices anybody could steal the key (speaking figuratively), no matter how well the group protects it.

    • Government Accountability Offices Finds Government Still Mostly Terrible When It Comes To Cybersecurity

      The government has done a spectacularly terrible job at protecting sensitive personal information over the past couple of years. Since 2013, the FDA, US Postal Service, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the IRS and the Office of Personnel Management have all given up personal information. So, it’s no surprise the Government Accountability Office’s latest report on information security contains little in the way of properly-secured information.

    • This New ‘Secure’ App for Journalists May Not Be Secure At All

      When I started working as a journalist in Colombia in 2006, “What do I do if I get kidnapped?” was a common topic at parties. In fact in 2007, my brother (not a journalist) got kidnapped in a small town outside of Medellín. The Colombian anti-kidnapping squad (GAULA) rescued him.

      So let’s just say I take an interest in journalist security tools. New apps have the potential to help journalists do their jobs, and stay safe while doing so.

      Unfortunately, Reporta, a new app from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) billed as “the only comprehensive security app available worldwide created specifically for journalists,” sounds like it may put journalists in danger.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NYT Plays Up Risks to Bomber Pilots, Downplays the Civilians They Kill

      Cooper does her best nevertheless to make the reader empathize with the risks faced by bomber pilots, despite a former flyer’s admission that “if you stay above 10,000 feet, you’re not going to be hit.” Though the mechanical difficulties faced by Yip Yip dominate the story, Cooper asserts that “engine troubles are not the only risk at 25,000 feet.” What else is there? Well, there’s acceleration: “The F/A-18s today require more G-forces than the planes of the Top Gun era, and pilots today pull nine Gs instead of four and five Gs”—so pilots have to make sure they are “not dehydrated or hungover from drinking and crooning the Righteous Brothers to Kelly McGillis at a bar the night before.”

      For comparison purposes, riders on the Shock Wave roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas experience six Gs–placing the amusement park-goers somewhere between Maverick and Bones on the toughness scale.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • What’s in a Boarding Pass Barcode? A Lot

      The next time you’re thinking of throwing away a used boarding pass with a barcode on it, consider tossing the boarding pass into a document shredder instead. Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal of information, and the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account.

    • US Secret Service Violated Privacy Policy to Embarrass Congressman

      The Secret Service thought we all needed a reminder that databases of personal information will be exploited for political gain. The chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, was leading the investigation into one of the recent cases of Secret Service misconduct. Agents within the service accessed records concerning Chaffetz’ application to the Secret Service (which was not acted upon) and then disseminated that information within the agency and talked to the press about it.

    • Anti-Piracy Activities Get VPNs Banned at Torrent Sites

      This week users of popular torrent sites found that they could no longer access them using their VPN. Speaking with TorrentFreak the operator of one of the affected sites revealed that the IP ranges of a popular VPN provider had been banned after they were used for massive anti-piracy activities. Using a VPN for copyright enforcement is apparently quite common.

    • In China, Your Credit Score Is Now Affected By Your Political Opinions – And Your Friends’ Political Opinions

      China just introduced a universal credit score, where everybody is measured as a number between 350 and 950. But this credit score isn’t just affected by how well you manage credit – it also reflects how well your political opinions are in line with Chinese official opinions, and whether your friends’ are, too.

    • Rise of ad-blockers shows advertising does not understand mobile, say experts

      Apple has made ad-blocking mainstream, prompting fears in the $31.9bn mobile ad market. But those grappling with the problem say the user must come first

  • Civil Rights

    • Rupert Murdoch hints that Barack Obama isn’t ‘real black president’

      Murdoch was praising Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife on Twitter Wednesday evening when he wrote: “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide?”

    • Saudi husband is caught groping and forcing himself on his maid after his suspicious wife set up a hidden camera… but now SHE faces going to jail

      A Saudi woman may face going to jail after she caught her husband cheating with the family maid and posted it on social media.

      The woman used a hidden camera to catch her husband in the act, but despite his proven infidelity, she may be the one who ends up being punished.

      The video, which she uploaded to YouTube, shows the man forcing himself on one of the family’s members of staff, while the maid appears to attempt to resist his advances.

    • Tacoma Police Sued Over Heavily-Redacted Stingray Non-Disclosure Agreement

      Despite there being multiple copies of nearly-identical FBI/Stingray non-disclosure agreements in the public domain at this point, the Tacoma (WA) Police Department still refuses to provide FOIA requesters with an unredacted version of its own NDA.

      In late 2014, the Tacoma Police Dept. handed Seattle’s Phil Mocek a copy of its NDA, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, failed to disclose much about the non-disclosure agreement. The only things left unredacted were the two opening paragraphs of the agreement and the signatures at the end of it. In the middle was a solid wall of black ink.

    • Sweden is shifting to a 6-hour work day

      Despite research telling us it’s a really bad idea, many of us end up working 50-hour weeks or more because we think we’ll get more done and reap the benefits later. And according to a study published last month involving 600,000 people, those of us who clock up a 55-hour week will have a 33 percent greater risk of having a stroke than those who maintain a 35- to 40-hour week.

      With this in mind, Sweden is moving towards a standard 6-hour work day, with businesses across the country having already implemented the change, and a retirement home embarking on a year-long experiment to compare the costs and benefits of a shorter working day.

  • DRM

    • TPP Also Locks In Broken Anti-Circumvention Rules That Destroy Your Freedoms

      We already wrote about how New Zealand has released some of the details about the finalized TPP agreement before the official text is released. The one we discussed is forcing participants into a “life plus 70 years” copyright term, even as the US had been exploring going back towards a life plus 50 regime like much of the rest of the world. That won’t be possible any more.

    • [Apple] What is the “rootless” feature in El Capitan, really?

      I have just learned about the “Rootless” feature in El Capitan, and I am hearing things like “There is no root user”, “Nothing can modify /System” and “The world will end because we can’t get root”.

      What is the “Rootless” feature of El Capitan at a technical level? What does it actually mean for the user experience and the developer experience? Will sudo -s still work, and, if so, how will the experience of using a shell as root change?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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